When we started THP two years ago, it was a very important part of our personal charter to give a portion of the proceeds of each event we ran to a charity or cause related to each events’ theme.
Almost eight events in, we (and through us, our gorgeous attendees) have had the absolute pleasure of being able to give to several worthy causes such as Beyond Blue, The Starlight Children’s Foundation and the Mater Foundation, to name a few. We’ve also been able to see firsthand where the money we donate has gone, and no example for us has been more real and humbling than sponsoring a girl from the island of Tanna, in Vanuatu, to go to school this year, through the Tafea Girls Education Scholarship Scheme.
We recognised this as a worthy cause in alignment with our first empowering women’s event, Pursue Your Passion, in Bangalow in 2015, and my strong connection with my Australian South Sea Islander heritage and culture, deriving from this very island.
Tanna is an incredibly beautiful, other-worldly place. The people are warm and happy, and the culture is strong. It’s an absolute, unpopulated paradise, bordered by stunning coastline and coconut trees, and home to one of the world’s most accessible active volcanoes, Mt Yasur.
In relation to education, however, more than 80 per cent of families in Tanna are having difficulties in making enough money to meet school fees, especially for church schools, colleges and universities. Due to the average income earned in rural areas not being sufficient to support the numerous fees imposed on them, boys are given priority, with girls remaining at home to help out with the family. This difficulty has resulted in many girls not completing their education.
It became apparent to us that it was easy, quite effortless actually, and such a huge privilege, to be able to give the gift of education through our business.
And so we have been very proud to sponsor Caroline this year. She is in year 10 at a school in Lenakel, which is the capital of Tanna. We recently received her mid-year report card and her results showed marked improvements since our sponsorship.
It is our hope to keep in touch with Caroline on her journey, and perhaps even meet her and her family one day.
One of the biggest take-homes from our experience so far has been about the ease in which we have been able to give to those less fortunate through following the path of our passion. If you feel the call to help beyond your current reality, use your platform. If you don’t have one, create one. You don’t have to have a business, and you don’t have to give much. It doesn't even have to be financial. There are no rules. Let your heart decide. It’s all about giving back in our own unique ways from a place of genuine love and care.